Is it wiser to ‘talk’ or to ‘listen’?

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Wisdom For Seekers


There are two kinds of people - some people are interested in talking, some people are interested in listening. You must decide which is wiser. Some people are interested in expression, some people are interested in perception. It is perception which enhances your life, not expression.


Duration: 9 min


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6 min read

Is it wiser to ‘talk’ or to ‘listen’?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

There are two kinds of people – some people are interested in talking, some people are interested in listening. You must decide which is wiser.

Some people are interested in expression, some people are interested in perception. It is perception which enhances your life, not expression.

I know you were a child of Freud, because the modern psychoanalysis and psychiatry went about saying, “You must express, otherwise you will go crazy.” You will express your madness, that’s the biggest problem in the world. Everybody is busy expressing their madness in the world. Everybody is busy expressing their limitations in the world. Everybody is busy expressing their prejudices and opinions in the world. What is the use of this expression, I’m saying? Birds are tweeting – it’s a little more pleasant than all these human beings tweeting.

Expression is like an expense of life. Perception is enhancement of life

Now, expression is like an expense of life – expending it. Perception is enhancement of life. This life for you should be about enhancing it, not about expending it.

I want you to look at it – at this moment in your life, just sit back and simply look at it. All the things that have found expression from you – take away the social context, just look at it as life. You are born one day, and you will be dead one day – in between this, all the things that you have said, and done, and expressed, what meaning does it have? What value is it to life – either to your life, or anybody’s life? Okay, this moment I can say something, and impress somebody here. Maybe I can teach something to a child and, you know, help him to learn something, live better, whatever; but in terms of existential life, as a piece of life, what does it mean – all the things that I have expressed? It means nothing. But all that you have perceived will make this life go far.

If you want to find expression to what little you have perceived already, I would say wait. This restlessness is, you know, across the world now. It used to be an American phenomena, but now it’s everywhere, everybody’s restless! Before they are 20, they want their life to be done. Everything that you can do in your life should be done, because there is a restlessness of wanting to be – a fear that you may not find expression. There is no need to be afraid of finding expression, because if you become profound with your perception, your expression happens not verbally, not by action, it becomes akashik expression. They are the only ones who live.

Today, in my experience, if I simply sit here, for me, whether it is Adiyogi, or Krishna, or Buddha, or anybody, any of the yogis who lived beyond their physical nature, they are all present for me here, they’re alive here, they are not past. When I speak about them, I talk about them they’re like here, because they are here.

If you do action with your physical self, it leaves a certain wake in the existence, and it obliterates itself. If you do something powerfully with your mind, it leaves a larger wake, but it will obliterate itself after some time. If you reverberate your physical energy in a certain way, it will leave a much larger wake, which has a much longer lifespan, and it dies. But if you do something beyond that, if you do something with your fundamental consciousness, then the wake that you leave is forever. When the planet goes away – you know, the solar system has its lifespan – when it implodes into itself, or explodes – whichever way it goes – even when the planet goes away, what certain people have left will not go.

You’ve heard of Markandeya? Markandeya lived through the destruction of the solar system, and again came back, because what you do with your consciousness does not die when the physical dies. When I say the physical dying, not about an individual dying. Even when the solar system dies, when the universe dies, when the whole galaxy dies, what you did on the level of your consciousness will not die, it leaves a wake forever. And always available to any being, of any nature, who has the necessary perception, for that being it’ll always be available.

Do not focus your life on expression – it’ll go waste

So, do not focus your life on expression – it’ll go waste. Perception – let this life be a lifetime of perception. All sadhana is oriented largely towards perception.

Right now there is a teacher training program going on, we are asking them to express something that they don’t even know. It’s a dangerous walk. I’m constantly cautioning them, a teacher must be alert, otherwise ignorance will take on an enlightened form, which is very, very dangerous. Which is happening all over, this is what the books and internet is doing to people, not knowing anything, you know everything, okay?

So, one of the most important things if you want to build your akashik self with some strength and presence in your life, one thing is – why people go into silence for years is, no expression, only perception. Because what can you express? Let’s hear what the creation and the source of creation has to say. We have to listen, we have to perceive, not express. So, sadhana is largely, largely – 95% is perception-oriented.

If we want to make it expression oriented, we can easily do that, but people will start finding expression to all kinds of limitations that they have. The limitations that you have, it’s best they don’t find expression, because it pollutes everything around you. I’m not saying that you are going to spread bad thoughts, or bad emotions, bad energy – no.

Limitedness is the biggest poison

Limitedness is the biggest poison. It is not that you have to do something negative. Limitations are the basis of your suffering. Limitations that people have spread – limited ways of thought, limited ways of emotion, limited ways of experience, is the biggest poison that the humans have swallowed. The less expression it finds, the better it is. If it finds no expression, it’s great.

People are here doing sadhana for 25 years, we don’t let them speak even once, because they don’t have to find expression, they just have to deepen their perception, deepen their perception, forever. Because what you need to perceive is a zillion times, zillion, zillion, zillion times larger than what you could ever express.

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